The Rays made their first major move of the offseason yesterday, bringing in outfielder Matt Joyce from the Tigers in exchange for Edwin Jackson.
I'm not totally up on Joyce - I imagine that I saw him play last season, but I can't really remember. From the numbers he looks like he had a pretty decent season, and the Rays are obviously keen on his power potential and defense in right. The impression I get is that while he'll compete for the starting job in '09, he may well be one for the future. I guess my one real surprise is that we've added another left-handed bat - we really could do with someone to hit from the other side!
Obviously losing Jackson is a bit of a shame. He had his best year ever this season, and finally looked as though he was working through his inconsistancy issues. I think that Detroit have picked up a good player there. Still, with the pitching depth that the Rays have, any trade was always likely to involve either him or Andy Sonnanstine. And while Jackson is probably the more talented, I think I'd rather lose him that Sonny - as I've said many times this year, Sonny just has a great knack for winning.
Jackson's departure also dramatically increases the likelihood that David Price will start the year in the Rays' rotation. Its not quite a done deal - Jeff Niemann, Mitch Talbot and Jason Hammel will have a shot as well - but I don't think it would be much of a surprise to see the big lefty win out.